In an official statement released by El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, he made it clear to El Salvador’s citizens that they were not under compulsion to use Chivo; a Bitcoin wallet that the government give out to citizens. In his June 29 twitter post, Bukele said that the aim of his online tweet was to correct the wrong impression made on citizens due to widespread disinformation concerning the Bitcoin wallet issuance by authorities. On June 9, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender, and will have the law take effect on September 7.
Chivo, is a nickname for cool in El Salvador. The wallet can be used to keep both Bitcoin and the United States dollars. The president reiterated that it was just one out of the myriads of crypto wallets available for use. Bukele also stated that the wallet could be used alongside other wallet applications. Addressing the issue of privacy, the president noted that the bio-data demanded for by the wallet is already in the custody of the authorities. He said that demands for such information from the citizens by the app is just to ensure security of the whole process.
The El Salvador’s number one citizen also stated that there will be no extra charges on the wallet application. He said that service fees will not be deducted when BTC is changed to dollars or the other way round. The president said that the money received into the Chivo wallet in the form of dollars or Bitcoin can easily be retrieved as USD cash whenever there is such need. This will be made possible when government pushes out its 200 Bitcoin automated teller machines (ATM) otherwise known as Chivo ATMs.
Bukele’s announcement on June 25 stated that the $30 BTC promised to be given out to adult citizens of the country by the government cannot be changed to dollar, this according to him will promote Bitcoin usage amongst citizens. The use of the Bitcoin wallet will cause a major shift in laid down policies as regards money in the country. Nasdaq reports stated that about 70% of El Salvadorians do not have functional bank accounts or accessibility to services that are finance oriented.
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